Tag Archives: Cheryl Cole



Fear is a melodramatic response to the unknown- or Lady Gaga flying Economy.

While it is useful if it stops you shaking hands with a lion, it is mostly triggered at the thought of being left in sole charge of more than one child under five.

Facing down a certain amount of it is therefore healthy, unless you want to spend the rest of your life wrapped around a cushion watching Holly Willoughby taste paella.

The hour of fear’s departure is the very hour of its need- generally 3 a.m, when carrying on to an unlicensed bar seems like a good idea.

As ignoring it once could mean a matter of life or death yet acquiescing too often a matter of death in life, fear-as-instinct is best obeyed; fear on reflection is not.


Hate is the instinct of a whopping tantrum distilled into an essence by the espresso machine of consciousness.

It is a profound sense of personal injustice- whether to the body or the soul- which is why you can feel as much antipathy towards a spear of asparagus as to the person who looked you in the eye as they rolled into your parking space.

Just as preferences reflect individuality, dislikes point to a universal ugliness: nobody loves a hater; one day Simon Cowell will realise this and wake up as Cheryl Cole, which will make people hate him even more.

Because hate is a two-stage process of sensitivity to an unyielding world and self-righteous interpretation you have but two choices: find less things to hate or find things less hateful.


Worrying is an energy inefficient session of macabre fortune telling- a Hummer doing ‘trick or treat’.

If a worry is realised, the time wasted compounds the catastrophe; if it isn’t, the time wasted is gone forever, along with the two hours you spent watching Pearl Harbour.

If you invest in worry as a form of self-protection you will get better returns from a Post Office savings account; if you invest in it as world view you will get no returns at all, as someone will bludgeon you to death with a frozen leg of lamb.

No one ever goes to their death-bed wishing they had worried more but worrying often sends worriers quicker to theirs.

Because worry posits the present self in a future situation rather than the future self in a present situation, all that is left is to sit back, relax and allow a different you to face the future.


Guilt is a faux gesture of atonement, like pretending to reach for the ‘open doors’ button in a lift, when an old person approaches.

It fills the gap between what you want to do and what you should do so you can continue to do what you want to do without feeling like a sociopath.

Concerning the welfare of other people yet being privately indulged, it is entirely bogus- the emotional equivalent of locking yourself in the bathroom and scoffing a KFC family bucket.

Without guilt you are a selfish person; with it you are a selfish person who wishes you weren’t.

The third way is to regard it less as a noun and more as a verb, thereby guilting yourself into taking whatever action is necessary to become guilt-free.


Jealousy is the suspicion that your partner’s least favourite wedding vow was ‘forsaking all others’; or, if you are a polygamist’s wife that, of all the others, you are the one he would most like to forsake.

It is the love child of an overactive imagination and an underactive self-regard, transformed into the Bride of Chucky if the third party is even vaguely attractive.

As it is necessary to prize a person in order to fear losing them, jealousy is not without a redeeming feature.

Unfortunately, super-sized possessiveness is precisely the sort of behaviour that will send them running for the hills.

Because the only real control we have is over ourselves, the best way to counter the projected fabulousness of another in the eyes of the beloved is to maintain the real fabulousness of oneself as their love.


Regret is retrospective wishing, with an absentee genie.

It is the doleful acknowledgment that things could have turned out differently, if it weren’t for that last bottle of wine.

Whether for things done or left undone it’s those moments you’d volunteer to pop out and make the tea during the movie of your life.

With its whiff of remove, politicians prefer it to apology while canny criminals pass it over in favour of remorse.

There are some who have a lot of regrets: these are naughty people with a conscience.

Others think it is important not to have any: these are just very naughty people.

Frank Sinatra allowed himself a few but only for services to the karaoke industry.

The reality is that real regret chooses you and not the other way around so engage enthusiastically in its avoidance or else live to regret it.




Filed under Beermat wisdom, Mumbo Life, Uncategorized

The X Factor

Last night I had the incredible misfortune of tuning into ‘The X Factor’.

Like the curry house at the end of the road, I’ve always known it was there but have never felt the need to make a personal visit.

Very soon I wished I hadn’t, as the hate child of Mary Whitehouse and my father took residence in the place formerly occupied by my personality.

First there is a chap singing. I feel sorry for him because there has been a technical fault and he can’t hear that the sound he is expelling is at diametric odds with the instruments designed to accompany it. Then I feel sorry for the panel of judges because of how embarrassed they will be when they realise the same thing and have to wipe the pre-neanderthal smirks off their slippery faces.

When it stops I am slack-jawed to hear the audience whooping and clapping and the little leprichaun fella at the end talking arrant bollocks about the quiffed mutoid’s quality performance as fast as he possibly can, so that Dannii Minogue can step in because basically no-one gives a flying finger of fudge what he has to say.

Dannii- who capably flew the flag for pre-pubescent breasted girls during her ‘Home and Away’ days- now has a voice worse than a chain-saw being swung around on a rope in an alligator sanctuary and uses it to collude with the leprichaun fella that the violation collectively experienced five minutes previously has been a harmonious piece of entertainment.

This can’t be true- Is this true? I bellow into Bruno’s frightened face- and yes, turns out it IS true because next up is Cheryl stick-to-your-ribs Cole. How can you not love this confectionery of a girl- tacky to the lips if licked and gaudily wrapped but sweet as spun sugar?

The answer is very easily because the false sentiment trotted out by the taxidermist’s masterpieces who preceded her is gospel to this woman, so steeped in vacant phoniness she would be shocked into speaking Latin if a person with real talent ever crossed her path.

At least we can trust Simon Cowell to tell it like it is, I steam through my nostrils. He’s nasty- I know that about him; he’s going to tell this whippersnapper he is destined to be a failure in any profession within a 400-yard radius of the hearing public.

Only he isn’t! He starts to wear the face he puts on when he thinks he needs to talk a Stringfellows lapdancer into bed even though she’s prone and panting in the Four Seasons penthouse suite. ‘Can I just say that when you walked in here tonight I thought you were nervous. But you looked good and you felt confident and it is the God’s honest truth that this is the best you’ve ever been.’

‘What the fuck was he like last week?’ I shout at Bruno, who has started to recoil when he sees me leering towards him. ‘Did he shit on the stage through a colander and feed it to a camerman?’

Then Dermot O’Dingleberry mawks his way through some effluvient bio-matter, thereby demonstrating to the guerning ingrates that yes, it is possible to be a consummate waste of space who wears their tongue between their teeth and bottom lip and still make it on primetime TV.

Followed by another ‘act’ so repellently heinous I am brought to my feet to spew a loose bowel movement of invective at the television. This one comprising four girls utterly void of any human characteristic that could be construed as appealing, ‘just having fun’ by catterwauling and hauling themselves over a troupe of professional dancing desperados, like large transvestite zombies. As if re-enacting a nightmare of the girl you hated most at school, pissed and caked in her own puke performing karaoke at your wedding. Cloned in quadruple.

And again, the panel of judges: sappy, lobotomised, gawping behind make-up trowelled on thicker than a foam mattress of Lurpak butter, poised to pour unctuous praise on their offensive exhibitionism, momentarily risking being fed to the booing lions by one incy-wincy-teeny-weeny suggestion that it might be a good idea if they ‘worked on the vocals’.

Once I have started to breathe again I find the mute on the remote and am grateful to Bruno for the distraction of his bizarre head-led breakdancing performance, which he follows up with some sexily-worded singing that still manages to be a gazillion times superior to anything thus far suffered on the living room consciousness.

‘This programme represents everything that is morally decrepit about our generation,’ I mince through my teeth when the ordeal is over. ‘It is like an apocalyptic presaging of the end of our depraved civilisation.

And I think it is a profoundly inappropriate influence on Bruno.’

Who spends the rest of the evening energised and leaping around in a great mood until bed-time when he looks haunted by an unpleasant memory.

‘Mummy, what means unfiltered excrement?’ he asks.

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MasterChef: The Other Final


John: Gregg, this Final has taken the premium Waitrose biscuit.

Quite the most extraordinary moments of erotic gastronomy ever to have been jiggled in a MasterChef climax.

Gregg: I couldn’t agree more. The whole series has been a money shot. I’m toe-curlingly sated. I could even do some cuddling right now.

John: But this isn’t for sissies- let’s be clear about that, Gregg.

Cooking Doesn’t Get Tougher Than This. Have I mentioned that already?

Gregg: It’s not actually possible to repeat that often enough. This show could be called ‘Hardcore Fascist Food’.

There’s absolutely nothing gay about it.

John: Tell me, what did you think of Diane?

Gregg: I think I’d give her one. She’s tasty. I like her cleavage.

John: But what about that dish?

When I saw her seducing the pureed Aboriginal broccoli onto a bed of sun-kissed celeriac effluvium I thought Mamma Mia was staging an impromptu matinee in my boxer shorts.

Gregg: I’m with you, John.

As soon as the spoon made contact with the back of my mouth the only thing I could think of was the Mother Superior singing ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ in The Sound of Music.

Then there was a smooth sweetness kick-boxing my pleasure receptors, followed by the all-over body sensation of Cheryl Cole giving me a round-the-world wearing a pair of Dalmatian puppy gloves.

Suddenly, I was Rick Astley.

John: But you can’t ignore Brian. He’s ugly, I know, but the man lives food.

Gregg: His denim butter hair-pin pasties made me want to talk about nipple cream with Debbie McGee in a sage-green Bristol car.

John: What a morris-dancing, supercilious combination.

Christ, I’m almost angry.

Gregg: And the bergamot thumbprints? Was he having a laugh?

Did he want an ejaculation to thin out the sauce?

John: Right, I’ll be conjuring that one up in bed for at least a fortnight.

Gregg: Now, we need a moment’s silence for Luigi.

John: Struth, is he the Messiah?

Gregg: Or just a very naughty boy- he’s ruined food for me forever.

John: Unless he moves into my bedroom and re-creates nightly the pan-stroked carpet of marsupial cheese giblets I’m going to moon Smithfields and become a software engineer.

Gregg: What, I mean what, can you say about it?

John: Nothing. I’ve run out of adjectives.

I’d need to start touching you to communicate what that did to my taste buds.

Gregg: So Luigi’s the winner, right?

John: He’s been on a journey, for sure. The first day he was here he asked me what the oven was for.

Plus he’s got that rarest of ingredients.

Gregg: A goose’s golden egg?

John: No: he’ll give good press.


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